Maundy Thursday aka Holy Thursday commemorates the day when Jesus Christ instituted the Eucharist during the Last Supper, an event that is described in the Holy Bible. The event, which is generally considered as the day to remember the Last Supper, also recalls the practice of ceremonial foot washing.
According to the Bible, Jesus washed his disciples' feet before the Last Supper as a sign of humility and love. The day, widely referred to as 'Holy Thursday', also commemorates those events that took place on the night before Jesus' crucifixion - known as 'Good Friday'.
It is the fifth day of Holy Week, and is preceded by Holy Wednesday and followed by Good Friday.
In celebration of Maundy Thursday 2014, let's take a look at some of the unique facts associated with this day and the Last Supper:
1. The Eucharist is a Christian sacrament that involves consecrating (or making holy bread and wine). This is done in remembrance of Jesus when he gave his disciples bread, saying "this is my body",and wine, saying "this is my blood", according to the Bible.
2. The term "Maundy" derives from the Latin word mandatum, which means "commandment" or "a new mandate". It refers to Jesus' words after he washed his disciples' feet. He reportedly instructed them with a new commandment - to love one another as he loved them.
3. The special Eucharist commemoration on the Thursday of Holy Week was mentioned in the North African Council of Hippo's documents as early as around 393 CE.
4. In olden days, Maundy Thursday was also known as Shear, Char, Shrift, and Sharp Thursday. It is believed that these names came into being from cutting or trimming hair or beards before Easter during the 14th Century.
5. The practice of washing other people's feet is no longer common in some Protestant churches but many Catholic and Anglican churches still engage in this Maundy Thursday rite.
Here are the top 10 inspiring quotes, sayings and prayers about Holy Week and Easter to share:
1. "Merciful God, release us from the time of trial and oppression that we may witness to the eternal hope of grief becoming joy and life rising from death. Amen." - Unknown
2. "Earth's saddest day and gladdest day were just three days apart!" - Susan Coolidge
3. "The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances." - Robert Flatt
4. "Easter spells out beauty. The rare beauty of new life." - SD Gordon
5. "The story of Easter is the story of God's wonderful window of divine surprise." - Carl Knudsen
6. "For I remember it is Easter morn, and life and peace are all new born." - Alice Freeman Palmer
7. "Awake, thou wintry earth - Fling off thy sadness! Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth Your ancient gladness!" - Thomas Blackburn, "An Easter Hymn"
8. "The story of Easter is the story of God's wonderful window of divine surprise." - Carl Knudsen
9. "Easter is the demonstration of God that life is essentially spiritual and timeless." - Charles Crowe
10. "He takes men out of time and makes them feel eternity." - Ralph Waldo Emerson